Weaver research

Weaver research
Weaver research

Dieter’s weaver research is based on field work (bird ringing, breeding studies, field trips), citizen science data (PHOWN – see below), and meta-analyses of published data. Many of the earlier results are mentioned at Weaver Watch.

PHOWN– PHOtos of Weaver Nests
PHOWN is a Virtual Museum, citizen science project at the University of Cape Town, to collect and monitor breeding distributions and colony sizes of weaver birds globally.
To take part, register and upload records here (read the “How to” pdf for help).

Thanks to all contributors to PHOWN! The data has allowed some amazing research on colony sizes, other birds and animals using weaver nests, nesting associations, changes in breeding ranges of weavers, type of nest site, and more!

Published PHOWN (PHOtos of Weaver Nests) papers

Read Make a PHOWN call, article in Africa – Birds & Birding about PHOWN (1.3Mb).

The papers below either use the PHOWN database, or archived their research data on weaver nests in PHOWN, or important papers that promote PHOWN.

Peer reviewed papers

Street SE, Jaques R, De Silva TN. 2022. Convergent evolution of elaborate nests as structural defences in birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Series B 289: 20221734, p1-11 (pdf).

Oschadleus HD. 2020. Variation in colony sizes of weavers from a citizen science project. Ostrich 91(2):174-178 (abstract).

Harebottle DM. 2020. Editorial. The value of citizen science projects to African ornithology. Ostrich 91(2):139-140.

Oschadleus HD. 2019. Raptors breeding on weaver nests in trees and on man-made structures. Ostrich 90(1):85-88 (abstract).

Oschadleus HD. 2018. Birds adopting weaver nests for breeding in Africa. Ostrich 89(2):131-138 (abstract).

Oschadleus HD. 2016. Nesting associations between vultures and weavers. Vulture News 70: 3-21 (pdf).

Oschadleus HD, McCarthy A. 2015. Cape sparrows using weaver nests. African Journal of Ecology 53(2):249-252 (abstract).

Russell DGD, Hansell M, Reilly M. 2013. Bird nests in museum collections: a rich resource for research. Avian Biology Research 6(2):178-182 (pdf).

Cocker M, Tipling D. 2013. .Birds and People. Published by Jonathan Cape, London.

Ornithological Observations and Biodiversity Observations papers

Oschadleus HD. 2012. Trapped! Weaver nests as death traps. Ornithological Observations 3:38-43 (pdf)

Oschadleus HD, Underhill LG. 2013. Photos of Weaver Nests: PHOWN progress report to December 2012. Ornithological Observations 4: 31-35 (pdf)

Harebottle DM, Oschadleus HD. 2014. Roadside densities and variation in nest size and structure of sociable weaver colonies near Prieska, Northern Cape, South Africa. Ornithological Observations 5:304-309 (pdf)

Oschadleus HD. 2014. PHOtos of Weaver Nests. Why PHOWN? Ornithological Observations 5:457-461 (pdf)

Spiby J. 2014. Not so friendly neighbours: Pygmy Falcon eating Sociable Weaver nestling. Ornithological Observations 5:357-360 (pdf)

de Swardt DH. 2014. Spotted Eagle-Owl nesting on top of Sociable Weaver nest. Ornithological Observations 5:355-356 (pdf)

Brown CJ, Bridgeford PA, Braine SG, Paxton M, Versveld W. 2015. Breeding data on the birds of Namibia: laying months, colony and clutch sizes and egg measurements. Ornithological Observations 6: 92-196 (pdf)

Oschadleus HD. 2015. Range limits of the Sociable Weaver. Ornithological Observations 6: 19-23 (pdf)

Oschadleus HD, Cronje P, Thorp C. 2015. Southern Masked Weavers nest earlier in suburban than rural areas. Ornithological Observations 6:68-72 (pdf)

Oschadleus HD, Werner L. 2015. Number of nests owned by individual Cape Weaver males. Ornithological Observations 6:197-201 (pdf)

Oschadleus HD. 2016. Nesting association between weavers and warblers (PHOWN 5). Biodiversity Observations 7.13: 1-4 (pdf)

Riddell IC. 2016. An unusual Cape Weaver nest. Honeyguide 62(2):144, pl iv.

Lowney A, Charlton LD. 2017. Cheetahs utilising Sociable Weaver structures at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. Biodiversity Observations 8.19: 1-4 (pdf)

Schultz SJ. 2017. Common Fiscal pecking Cape Weaver nest. Biodiversity Observations 8.42:1-2 (pdf)

Oschadleus HD. 2017. Birds and animals using weavers nests. Biodiversity Observations 8.28: 1-17 (pdf)

Presentations at the Pan-African Ornithological Congress

Underhill LG, Oschadleus HD. 2012. Weavers: Africa’s awesome research opportunity. Abstr. Proceedings of the Pan-African Ornithological Congress 13: 4-5

Oschadleus HD. 2012. Variation in colony sizes and nest sites in weavers. Abstr. Proceedings of the Pan-African Ornithological Congress 13: 61

(a previous version of this list appeared here).